Last week I visited The Enchanted Forest in Pitlochry for my birthday. Each October Faskally Wood is brought to life in a display of light and music. It is truly magical and this was the first time I had visited. Unfortunately for me, things didn’t really go as planned for me towards the end of last week. I was honestly feeling like I was on the road to recovery and felt like things were getting that bit easier for me with each day. On Monday, I returned to normal duties at work but still on reduced hours. I clearly ended up doing too much as mid-morning on Wednesday it was like someone just flipped a switch and I couldn’t do any more. I was exhausted. I have recently been prescribed gabapentin and I have definitely been feeling the benefits of it. So much so that I think I just simply did more than my body was capable of without realising it. I spent Thursday and Friday resting up. I was absolutely gutted. However, not one to be defeated I decided to rent a wheelchair so that I could still go to The Enchanted Forest, which I had been looking forward to for weeks.
It was a different experience being wheeled around in a wheelchair. Apart from a visit to Disneyland, California, when I hired an electric scooter for the day, this was the first time I had been reliant on a wheelchair. I had reservations about what my friends would think, which was utterly stupid as they were amazing. I just can’t help but feel like a bit of a fraud considering I can walk for miles some days and then others I am incapable of doing much at all. However, I put all that to the back of my mind and just went for it. It was a great decision. I got to enjoy the event without the worry of completely doing myself in. I still woke up the next day feeling exhausted so goodness know what I would have been like had I attempted to walk round.
The event was incredible. The trees were lit up in various different bright colours and it felt very fairytale-esque. There were different shows located throughout the forest, including a fire show, light show and there were even aerial artists performing high up in the trees. They were amazing. My favourite was the water show, which was absolutely captivating. The water danced to various orchestral scores whilst being lit up a multitude of different colours. I loved it.
It said on the website that it would take approximately 40 minutes to walk around the entire forest. It took us 2 hours. Probably in part because of the chair but also because I had to stop at pretty much every point and take in all the sights. I even managed to take photographs without leaving my chair, which was fab. The site is fully wheelchair accessible but as it is essentially forest tracks only chairs with larger wheels would be able to tackle them successfully. It has to be said that the staff were wonderful and very helpful and I couldn’t praise them enough. If you are in Scotland in the month of October you must take the time to visit this event but remember to book in advance as it is understandably very popular. Sadly the event is over for this year but I will look forward to visiting again in the future.
Also, I have to say, if you have any reservations about using mobility aids to help you through tough times with your chronic illness then please know that your reservations are understandable but unnecessary. Anything that will help you to achieve all that you want to do can only be a positive thing. For me, the alternative of sitting at home and being miserable because I was missing out was not even worth contemplating! I’m actually keeping an eye out on Gumtree for wheelchairs for sale as it would certainly be handy to have one as a ‘just in case’.